TotolEnergies EP Uganda and the National Forestry Authority (NFA) have signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding to conserve Budongo Forest, Uganda's largest central forest reserve.
Mariam Nampeera Mbowa, the Deputy General Manager of TotalEnergies and Okello Tom Obong, the Executive Director of NFA, signed the contract for their respective organizations.
The MOU, according to TotalEnergies, marks the start of raising awareness of Budongo’s immense biodiversity value & supports NFA in its strategic objectives to improve the management of central forest reserves.
Nampeera said that with this MOU, TotalEnergies is boosting the effective management of biodiversity in Uganda by developing a Forest Management Plan that will enhance the extent and quality of the tropical high forest within Budongo.
“The Company aims to achieve positive outcomes for biodiversity & communities by working with NFA & other partners to support community forest management groups,” Nampeera said.
She noted that the Tilenga Biodiversity Program is one of the commitments made in delivering the Tilenga Project which aims to achieve positive outcomes for biodiversity in Murchison Falls National Park, Savanna habitats, wetlands & forests.
Obong, the ED of NFA said the goal of this MOU is to strengthen forest management. He acknowledged that TotalEnergies has a long history of participating in activities associated with biodiversity conservation in Uganda.
“We embrace this partnership as one of our collaborative approaches to the sustainable management of forest reserves. Budongo and other forests are habitats for a vast array of wildlife.
"So, this is something which is not coming from the blue. It is in our strategic plan. It is something which we anticipated many years ago and we want to continue consolidating and building new partnerships for sustainable forest management," he said.
Budongo is home to an estimated 600-800 Chimpanzees and the largest mahogany forest in East Africa.